I had the misfortune of being in the car the other day listening to an hysterical Jon Faine ‘interview’ of Michael Smith and Mark Baker about the Gillard-AWU Slush Fund affair. What a disgrace! There is absolutely no doubt that Faine is violating the ABC’s Editorial Policies - his attitudes are just sickening. He was rude and interrupting and that was the best that can be said about his performance.
Because Faine was once upon a time a very junior lawyer, he has become the most insufferable know-it-all when it comes to what lawyers do and standards of professional and ethical conduct. Take it from me, he knows nothing. And the notion that a lawyer would lie or do something illegal just because a client requests it … excuse me.
It tells us everything about Faine’s background as a lawyer and NOTHING about mainstream legal practice.
I thought The Australian, via David Crowe and Joe Kelly, cut to the chase this morning with the key unaswered questions:
- Why did Gillard not set up a file when establishing the slush fund, aka AWU Workplace Reform Association? (Lack of attention to paperwork does not cut it; setting up files and clearing it with the other partners are critical to the operation of law firms.)
- Was the AWU, a client of the firm, informed of the establishment of the fund? If not, why not?
- Why did Gillard not inform the AWU of the misuse of the slush fund once she suspected this was occurring?
- Did Gillard misrepresent the true purpose of the AWU Workplace Reform Association to the WA Corporate Affairs Commission? (Providing false information to government officials is potentially an offence.)
- Why did Gillard not report matters to the police when she became aware of the fraud involved in the operation of the fund?
I think that Gillard’s use of the word wrongdoing is deliberate.
But surely she accepts that it was WRONG to be involved in the setting up of a slush fund, including using AWU in its name? Surely she also accepts that it was WRONG to fail to open a file and to keep her fellow partners in the dark on this matter? After all, the firm was to lose the AWU as a client. If she did misrespresent the true purpose of the slush fund, which on her account was to help with the re-election of certain union officials, including her boyfriend, to the government authority, surely this was also WRONG.
How the import of these actions is now interpreted is a matter of personal opinion, but can anyone really deny that she was wrong, wrong, wrong.